What Went Down While I Was Gone??

 In case you haven't noticed, I haven't been around much lately. Those of you who know me know that I've spent the last eight days in Hawaii taking a much needed break from all things Hollywood. No movies, no movie news, I didn't bother to look at the site even once. There's no need to go through the many adventures I had there, but you can probably follow it better over on my Facebook page. So for the last week my homie and other half of the Punch Drunk duo has been holding down the fort, to which he's done an excellent job. But now I'm back and apparently a lot of shit went down! You mean they don't just stop making movies while I'm off shoving my piehole full of shave ice and papaya?  Pfeh.  So what happened? A quick rundown of the things which caught my eye most...

* So apparently everybody has been wrong all these weeks when it comes to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard's roles in The Dark Knight Rises. JGL has been mentioned as playing everybody from The Riddler to Alberto Falcone, but a press release from Warner Brothers states that he'll actually be John Blake, a Gotham City beat cop on special duty under Commissioner Gordon. Not a character I'm familiar with from the comics, so he's either new or extremely obscure. Either way, you have to expect this to be a more important role than it sounds considering the casting.

Cotillard's pretty face will be appearing as Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a grieving Bruce Wayne get back on track. Again, this has to be a bigger role than it sounds. She's either going to end up as Bruce's new love interest, or she's going to stab him in the back somehow.  I'm voting for the latter.

* The film I've been completely gah-gah over the last few months is Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. For good reason, as he's pulled together an awesome cast consisting of Leonardo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan. A few weeks ago we heard that Ben Affleck was in talks for the role of slimy Tom Buchanan, but that doesn't appear to be happening anymore as he's committed to directing and starring in Argo. Maybe Bradley Cooper will get the role afterall? But while Affleck departs, Isla Fisher steps in to a role I think is as perfect for her as can be. She'll be Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan's unstable mistress and the wife of poor gas station attendant George Wilson. My favorite character, Jordan Baker, has still yet to be cast but I'm dying to find out who it'll be.

* Marvel Studios prez Kevin Feige continues to be a fountain of information when it comes to the superhero cinematic universe. We've pretty much known that Captain America sequels were soon to follow, the same with Thor. The only question about Cap was whether it would take place in the days of WWII or if he'd be thawed out in current times. Feige has now stated that we can expect to see both Cap and Thor sequels down the line, and that Cap's story will take place in the modern era. Personally I'm hoping it'll involve the USAgent somehow. 

* In case you somehow forgot(or like me were still hoping it wasn't true), Kate Beckinsale is married to director Len Wiseman. They met on the set of Underworld, and she's been a part of that franchise pretty much the whole way through. In fact she'll be returning for the fourth film in that vampires vs. werewolves fang fest. But her hubby is also working on the Total Recall remake, which currently has Colin Farrell in the role of Quaid made iconic by Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 1990. Bryan Cranston is the baddie, but we still don't know who'll be filling the two major female roles, that of Lori and Melina. Lori was Quaid's traitorous wife, played by Sharon Stone. Melina was a rebel leader, played by Rachel Ticotin. Last I heard Jessica Biel was in contention for either role, with Paul Patton, Eva Green, Kate Bosworth, Diane Kruger, and Eva Mendes reading as well. Now it looks like Beckinsale's name has more than just been thrown in the hat, she's already been offered the role of Lori. Expect her to sign in the next few days if she ever wants Lenny to take out the trash again.

*  The mere mention of Lindsay Lohan in conjunction with the mob biopic Gotti: Three Generations has already placed a black cloud over it. Not only has director Nick Cassavetes(Alpha Dog) dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, but now the Hollywood starlet has seen her role in the film evaporate, then magically reappear as something totally different. Initially set to play Victoria Gotti, daughter of infamous Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, a producer on the film said that she was no longer involved with the film. Then shortly thereafter it was reported by TMZ that she was back, but now in a much smaller role as Gotti's daughter-in-law, Kim. John Travolta will play the "Teflon Don" himself, with Joe Pesci also confirmed for a role.

* Warner Brothers is clearly trying to position Tales from the Gangster Squad as a modern day take on The Untouchables. Not a bad idea, really, since it's been a long time since we've had a huge, elite team of cops versus iconic criminal film. Public Enemies tried but wasn't it.  With Will  Beall scripting and Ruben Fleischer directing, the film is based on a series of old newspaper articles about a police force attempting to stoop the spread of mob activity. Last we heard, Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling had been offered roles, and now it looks like they're in talks and will be signing shortly.  Also set to join is Josh Brolin, who I don't remember being mentioned before. Penn will play mob boss Mickey Cohen, while Gosling and Brolin will be two of the cops attempting to bring him down.  The film is also going by the much more economical title of Gangster Squad. Smart move.

There's a lot more, but I'm going to follow-up on some of this stuff individually because it deserves a little more time. It feels good to be back in the saddle, though!